Earlier today, constant harassment by supporters of the #GamerGate movement drove prominent game critic and outspoken person-of-color Tauriq Moosa to delete his Twitter account, according to a report from The Mary Sue. GamerGate’s attack and the fallout therof has since spawned a hashtag campaign, dubbed #IStandWithTauriq in support of Moosa, who also writes for publications including Polygon and The Guardian.
So what brought the wrath of GamerGate down on Mr. Moosa?
Earlier this month, Tauriq posted an opinion piece at Polygon discussing race in gaming, a favorite subject of his. The article discussed two games in particular: The Witcher 3 and Rust; specifically the lack of non-white characters in the former (a fantasy RPG) and the objections of players who were randomly assigned a non-white race in survival game Rust.
“You see the problem. When white gamers are forced to play people not of their race, it’s ‘forced politics;’ when I’m forced into the same scenario, it’s business as usual. When you complain, you’re making a fuss and being political. The argument is a bit scary when you break it down: The only way games can avoid politics in this situation is to pretend that people of color don’t exist.”
After being specifically mentioned by Moosa for his coverage of The Witcher 3, Forbes journalist Paul Tassi read the Polygon piece, and wrote another article in support of Tauriq’s opinion.
“So am I offended? Should I be? Is Moosa calling me racist for ignoring race in my Witcher piece?
“No, no, and no. And everything he’s saying is true.”
The response from GamerGate, however, was swift and brutal, much of it centering around the idea that persons of color “don’t belong” in a period fantasy, that games must pass the “historical accuracy” test. You know, the same way Hollywood blockbusters or AAA historical titles featuring white people in Africa do. And, as the Inquisitr has previously reported, GamerGate is so well-known for their rational treatment of non-white, non-male people that they disagree with.
Today, in the wake of Tauriq Moosa’s departure from Twitter, GamerGate has set out to poison the #IStandWithTauriq hashtag, filling it with hate, abuse and misinformation, and attacking anyone speaking up in support of Moosa. The tweets from GamerGate are sadly too inappropriate for publication anywhere, but here is a small sample of what his supporters have to say.
A game industry where minority voices can't speak without harassment is a game industry we must fight to change. #IStandWithTauriq
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) June 27, 2015
GG was harassing Tauriq for a while now b/c he pointed out that a video game that he otherwise loves has no PoC in it. #IStandWithTauriq
— Matt Myers (@m_m_myers) June 27, 2015
Tauriq loudly vocalized his admiration for the games he criticized but it didn’t matter, he was still harassed daily. #IStandWithTauriq
— Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) June 27, 2015
#IStandWithTauriq because a torrent of racist, misogynist harassment & abuse should not be an occupational hazard of writing games criticism
— Katherine Cross (@Quinnae_Moon) June 27, 2015
I stand with Tauriq. Against harassment, against the foulness of GamerGate, and I’m speaking up in the best way that I know how. I’m hoping that others with stand up against GamerGate with me, and the rest of us who stand against them. I hope that we can create a safe space for Tauriq Moosa and people like him; people of color, people who aren’t male, people providing valid criticisms of an industry that needs to do better in acknowledging all races and genders.
I think John Epler of Dragon Age and Mass Effect developer BioWare put it best today.
#IStandWithTauriq because the best criticism comes from a love of the medium, and I'm tired of seeing people harassed out of it.
— John Epler (@eplerjc) June 27, 2015
I Stand With Tauriq, I stand against GamerGate, and I’m not afraid to say it.
[Image courtesy CD Projekt Red]